FAQ’S

USA Swim Team

What are the fees?
Texas Ford Aquatics fees typically range from $100-$180 monthly (dependent upon group placement), an annual registration fee of $100 per family and $76 USA Swimming Registration Fee per swimmer.  Each swimmer is assigned to a group level after participating in a try out.  The annual fee may be prorated depending on the time of year that you join the club.  Texas Ford Aquatics does offer quarterly payment options as well as monthly fee breaks for families with multiple swimmers.
Do I have to make a year commitment to join the team?
No, practice fees are monthly. To become an inactive swimmer you must give a 30-day notice in writing to stop billing your account.
Do swimmers have to attend every practice?
The more practices a swimmer attends the more they will grow in the sport. For our beginning groups there are no attendance requirements; however, for our higher-level groups, there are practice attendance requirements.
When and where are meets?
For most swimmers, 99% of meets are in the North Texas region and are approximately once a month. For the more advanced swimmers, there are swim meet opportunities all around the country throughout the year.
How are meets set-up?
Meets are based on USA Swimming Age Group Motivational Times.  Level 3 meets are for the beginner swimmer – all other meets have specific time standards that must be achieved to compete.  Time standards are listed here.
Does my swimmer have to attend meets?
Meets are not required in every group, but are highly encouraged because we are a competitive swim team.
What type of swimsuit does my swimmer need?
Boys must have a jammer or regular brief style suit for practice and meets.  Please no swim trunks for boy swimmers.  Girls must wear a one-piece suit for practice and meets.  A navy blue Arena suit MUST be worn at all swim meets by both boys and girls.
What equipment does my swimmer need and where can I buy it?
Equipment must be purchased before the first practice and can be purchased from Xtreme Swim in Plano. After trying out you will have access to the list of required equipment.
What are the practices like?
Practices are so much more than just swimming laps. You will learn and refine each of the four main strokes at practice while preparing to swim all distances. We seek to provide a well-rounded individual both in the water and out of the water. We seek to build our muscles out of the water as well by incorporating various stretches and workouts to not only increase strength and flexibility but also to prevent injury. Each coach writes an individualized practice for each practice group. Practices are adjusted according to each child’s abilities and needs.
Why Texas Ford Aquatics?
Our unique commitment to swimming in conjunction with active coach and parent involvement creates an atmosphere that makes us stand out from the rest. We raise the bar by hiring highly qualified, ASCA certified coaches who have many years of experience. Moreover, our facilities are some of the best in the state when it comes to swimming. We view swimming not only as a sport, but as an opportunity to better each individual.  Come check us out and see for yourself!
Who would I contact for more information?
Please contact Texas Ford Aquatics at membership@texasfordaquatics.com.

Swim America Lessons

How do I get feedback for my swimmer?
To receive specific feedback on your swimmer, talk to one of the site supervisors when you take your swimmer for their lesson or come onto the pool deck at the close of class to speak with your child's instructor. You can also send an email to lessons@texasfordaquatics.com and we will follow up with you.
It’s our first time, what do we do first?
We are so excited that you are swimming with us!  On your first day, you will come in and have a seat in our viewing area.  Be sure your child is ready with the required uniform on 10 minutes before the start of your child's lesson to make sure they are prepared to join their class on time.  Students will be called out on to the pool deck by our coordinator.  They will need to take their towel, shoes, goggles and any clothes they plan to pull on over their suit.  We recommend they have a bag to place all of their items in.  We ask that you stay and watch your child's lesson from our viewing area in the lobby for the duration of the lesson in case there are any issues that arise during their first day.  After their lesson is over, they will be asked to dry off completely before re-entering the lobby area. If you have any questions, you can always ask our SwimAmerica coordinator, one of our Site Supervisors and our school manager.
How do I change my class time?
To change your class time, send an email to lessons@texasfordaquatics.com with your swimmer's name, their current class schedule, and include what change you are specifically requesting.
How do swimmers move up to the next station and what happens when they move?
Swimmers are constantly being evaluated by their coach to see if they are ready to move to the next station or level.  To be moved to the next station, swimmers will be asked to demonstrate the necessary skills to pass their current station and will be watched by the both their coach and the site supervisor to see if they have properly demonstrated the skills.  Once they demonstrate that they can perform these skills, they will be moved immediately to the next station in our system.  You will not need to re-register when this happens.
How are swimmers assessed?
Swimmers will be asked to demonstrate all of the skills required to pass each level.  For example, for Station 1, swimmers have to be able to bob up and down 10 times near the wall and properly blow bubbles and exchange air.  They will be asked to demonstrate various skills in progression with the 10 stations in our program.  Once they reach a skill they are unable to demonstrate, they will be placed in that station.
What is the SwimAmerica uniform?
All swimmers are required to where a navy blue swim suit, Arena goggles, and a Texas Ford Aquatics cap.
Why do swimmers have to wear that uniform?
As with other sports, the uniform that is required for swimming is designed to enhance the swimmer's ability to learn and perform the skills they are being asked to do. This uniform was chosen to increase the effectiveness of our instruction. The navy  suit is provided and fitted for the swimmer to prevent the larger amount of resistance experienced with ill-fitted swimwear. The increased resistance makes it more difficult to learn the skills that are taught to the swimmers by our SwimAmerica coaches. Swimmers with longer hair are required to wear a cap to prevent any distraction from their hair getting in their eyes or affecting their head position because of increased resistance in the water. The goggles we ask swimmers to wear are designed for competition, and they are more effective for teaching because of the fit and reliability versus goggles designed for play and recreation.
How do I get the uniform?
Once your swimmer is registered for classes you will need visit our apparel department for your equipment and swimsuit fitting.  For your child's fitting please make sure they are wearing undergarments to comply with health regulations.  Fittings are Mondays from 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm, and Tuesdays from 3:30 pm to 5:30 pm.
Why are there no make up sessions?
To maintain quality and consistency in our schedules, we do not allow a swimmer to make up a class at a different time.  We schedule classes based on the availability of coaches and placement of swimmers, and we schedule our staff based on the the expectation that all swimmers will be present.  Make up classes due to inclement weather is at the discretion of management.  There are many factors involved in this decision, and will be addressed on a case by case basis.  
Does SwimAmerica take holidays off?
Texas Ford Aquatics does observe some holidays, but there are no make ups for holiday cancellations.  Any schedule changes to the normal schedule will be emailed out to all members.
How do I drop out of lessons?
If you would like to drop out of the SwimAmerica program.  Please email lessons@texasfordaquatics.com by the 20th of the month.  Requests received after the 20th will be billed for the next month, and dropped for the following month.
I need to change my swimmers’ assessment time, how do I do this?
To change a swimmer's assessment date or time, you need to send an email to lessons@texasfordaquatics.com with your swimmer's name, current date and time for the assessment, and include the date or time change that you are requesting.  Any cancellation or change to an assessment will result in a $50 fee for a no-show.

Masters

The word “Masters” sounds intimidating…
In swimming, Masters and Pre-Masters simply means 18 and older.  It does not mean members are "Master Swimmers" or "experts".  The organization borrowed the name from Golf when it was established in 1970.
Do I have to compete to be a Masters swimmer?
No, but you are highly encouraged to compete.  The main thing is making sure that you have a goal you are working towards.
I’m not fast enough (or in shape enough) to be a Masters swimmer…
This is something a lot of Masters coaches hear. However, most Masters coaches and swimmers don’t care how fast you are.  In nearly every program, there are other adults of similar ability; or have started where you are and have improved. Don’t let your perceived ability, or lack thereof, hold you back.   We have a special program in place for adults who don't feel quite ready for all of swimming done in a Masters workout.  Our Pre-Masters program is designed to help you prepare for our Masters program and get you to where you want to be.  Although it’s important to have a physical examination before starting any exercise routine, you don’t need to be in shape to start swimming!— our Pre-Masters program will help you get there!
I’m a triathlete—why should I join USMS?
Many triathletes, including world-class triathletes Jarrod ShoemakerGwen Jorgensen, and Sara McLarty, joined USMS programs because training with swimmers is the best way to improve the swim portion of a triathlon. Masters coaches provide technique instruction and interval training with a group. USMS membership also grants access to the triathlete-specific workouts posted regularly in the members-only Forums at usms.org. In addition, SWIMMER magazine and STREAMLINES e-newsletters have technique and training tips in each issue.
What can I expect when I attend a USMS practice?
Check out our “Masters Swimming 101” article series for tips about what to bring, common swimming jargon, and how to circle swim, read the clock, and more. Try to swim in a lane that fits your ability and don’t get discouraged! Swimming is different than running, cycling, and other endurance activities. Regardless of your fitness level, it can take months to get into good swimming shape. And don’t be shy—ask for help; most Masters swimmers and coaches are happy to welcome new members. Camaraderie and new friends are two of the best benefits of swimming regularly with a group.
Do I have to join USMS to swim in a Masters practice?
Yes, USMS provides insurance coverage for all individual USMS members and liability insurance for clubs and workout groups. For the insurance to be in effect, all participants within the activity, such as an organized practice or competition, must be registered with USMS. Thus, most USMS clubs and chapters require that all swimmers in their programs be registered with USMS.
What about exercise as I get older?
Study after study has proven that regular exercise can significantly contribute to good physical and mental health. Swimming has continually been identified as one of the best ways to exercise. Stress reduction, weight control, cardiovascular fitness, reduced cholesterol, increased muscle tone, and endurance are all benefits of swimming regularly. The social benefits are equally important; the camaraderie found in most USMS programs helps to keep people in the pool well into their golden years. Learn more in the article, "Masters Swimming IS the Magic Pill."
What gear is needed in Masters and Pre-Masters?
 

Masters and Pre-Masters equipment

Required

Optional

Fins (Medium or long in length)

Paddles (No bigger than your hand)

Training suit

Kickboard

Pull Buoy

 
Coach Richard and Coach Lauralee would be happy to answer any questions you have regarding gear.
What is U.S. Masters Swimming?
USMS is a national membership-operated non-profit organization that provides membership benefits to nearly 60,000 Masters swimmers across the country.  These benefits include insurance, SWIMMER magazine, sanctioned events and many others.  USMS and its 52 Local Masters Swimming Committees (LMSCs) provide direct support to more than 1,500 Masters Swimming clubs and workout groups.  Structure and organization of USMS programs vary and are driven by factors such as pool availability, instructor or coach availability, community support and finances.  Coaches write workouts and provide feedback and instruction. www.USMS.org
I’m not sure whether I belong in Masters or Pre-Masters, what should I do?
Come in for an assessment and we'll make a recommendation.  To schedule an assessment, please email Coach Richard or Coach Lauralee.  

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